Last Word

Thankful for a Hardy Word

A word from the president of Wycliffe Canada.

If you’ve read through this issue of Word Alive, I suspect you felt that it was almost too much to take in. If it was as difficult for you to read as it was for me, think of those who watch, hear about, and report these stories, not to mention those who live them. 

We love telling the “impact,” the “result” stories of the efforts of translating the Bible into languages around the world. We love stories that show deep, genuine, heroic character. We love success stories, those that turn out well in the end. 

Is there still enough topsoil left in the violently plowed soil of life experiences to nurture the seed of God's Word?

But we hate the pain of getting there. Some might wonder why Wycliffe Bible Translators is involved in healing the wounds of trauma at all. Isn’t that the work of the Church and relief, development, health and counselling agencies? 

Wycliffe ministry resides at the heart of a culture and the hearts of people. Wycliffe helps those who translate the Word of God to penetrate the innermost depths of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). When that heart has been torn asunder by trauma, then people need to know, feel, and see that this same Word speaks healing to individuals as well as their entire societies. 

For some people, the soil of their life experiences has been so violently plowed and furrowed it’s difficult to know whether there’s still enough topsoil left to nurture the seed of God’s Word. But thank the Lord, that Word is so hardy, and so penetrating, that when watered with the Holy Spirit and prayer, it can eventually thrive in the toughest of environments. And it changes lives. 

The trauma healing movement and its workshops have proven that. May the movement thrive and spread to bring a restoring word wherever suffering has tragically traumatized men, women and children. 

(Photo: Illustration by Dave Harder)

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This is truly my last “Last Word.” I know that short sentence looks like an editorial slip-up, but here’s the explanation. My two-year interim term as president of Wycliffe Canada draws to completion at the end of November. From that point on, the “Last Word” column belongs to my successor: Roy Eyre (see the Watchword article). 

I have every confidence that Wycliffe Canada remains in the hands of excellent leadership with Roy. Not only because of his experience and abilities in leadership, but especially because he walks daily with the Lord, who truly has the last word with each of us. 

I encourage you to support Roy in prayer. 

On an occasion like this I’m fond of the prayer of William Temple, a long-ago Archbishop of Canterbury, when he entered that role. He wrote: “Pray for me, I ask you, not chiefly that I would be strong and wise or any such thing, though for these things I certainly need your prayers. But pray for me chiefly that I may not let go of the unseen hand of the Lord Jesus and may live in daily fellowship with Him. It is so that you will most of all help me to help you.”

May this be our prayer for Roy, as well. 

Don Hekman is outgoing president of Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada.

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